Muonio Skate Race

Yesterday’s 15km individual start skate race in Muonio was better for me than the classic race on Saturday. The conditions were challenging. It was above freezing and we got about an inch of new snow the night before the race. The whole course was foggy; It was hard to tell where the trail went on some of the downhills because everything was white. We were skiing through suspended water. The course developed a glaze. (That is hard packed but a little punchy. Snow covered roads sometimes develop a glaze when they look shinny and slick.) It was hard snow to balance and stand on. Traditionally I have done very poorly in these conditions. I tend to “try too hard” and my legs tense up. Yesterday I did a better job of staying relaxed and putting power into the snow at the right time. Here’s the view at the start:

Here’s my coach Jason Cork heading out to test skis with me:

Here’s a picture my teammate Holly Brooks took of me (left) during the race:

I ended up in 13th place, a minute and twenty seconds behind the winner Matti Heikkinen. Full results are here. Considering the conditions and the flat course (which doesn’t suit my strengths) I am happy with the way it went. Yesterday represented a big improvement for me in races with similar conditions. I am looking forward to taking another step forward at the World Cup next week.

In the afternoon my teammates and I ran to town (about 3 miles) then did strength.

Last night we went to the new James Bond movie (in English!) at a surprisingly large theater here at our hotel. It was totally worth the 9 Euros we each had to pay.